Manual Reference Pages - GROPS (1)
grops - PostScript driver for groff
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It is possible to have whitespace between a command line option and its
grops translates the output of GNU
troff to PostScript.
grops should be invoked by using the groff command
If no files are given,
grops will read the standard input.
A filename of
- will also cause
grops to read the standard input.
PostScript output is written to the standard output.
grops is run by
groff options can be passed to
grops using the
grops doesnt produce a valid document structure (conforming to the Document
Structuring Convention) if called with multiple file arguments.
To print such concatenated output it is necessary to deactivate DSC
handling in the printing program or previewer.
Provide workarounds for older printers, broken spoolers, and previewers.
grops produces output at PostScript LanguageLevel~2 that conforms to the
Document Structuring Conventions version 3.0.
Some older printers, spoolers, and previewers cant handle such output.
The value of~
n controls what
grops does to make its output acceptable to such programs.
A value of~0 will cause grops not to employ any workarounds.
Add~1 if no
%%Begin Document Setup and
%%End Document Setup comments should be generated;
this is needed for early versions of TranScript that get confused by
anything between the
%%End Prolog comment and the first
Add~2 if lines in included files beginning with
%! should be stripped out; this is needed for Suns pageview previewer.
%%End Prolog comments should be
stripped out of included files; this is needed for spoolers that
dont understand the
%%Begin Document and
%%End Document comments.
Add~8 if the first line of the PostScript output should be
%!PS-Adobe-2.0 rather than
%!PS-Adobe-3.0; this is needed when using Suns Newsprint with a printer that requires
Add~16 if no media size information should be included in the document
(this is, neither use
%%Document Media nor the
setpagedevice PostScript command).
This was the behaviour of groff version 1.18.1 and earlier; it is needed
for older printers which dont understand PostScript LanguageLevel~2.
It is also necessary if the output is further processed to get an
encapsulated PS (EPS) file -- see below.
The default value can be specified by a
command in the DESC file.
Otherwise the default value is~0.
n copies of each page.
dir/devname to the search path for prologue, font, and device description files;
name is the name of the device, usually
Guess the page length.
This generates PostScript code that guesses the page length.
The guess will be correct only if the imageable area is vertically
centered on the page.
This option allows you to generate documents that can be printed
both on letter (8.5×11) paper and on A4 paper without change.
This option may be used to specify a directory to search for
files on the command line and files named in
\Xps: import and
\Xps: file escapes.
The current directory is always searched first.
This option may be specified more than once;
the directories will be searched in the order specified.
No directory search is performed for files specified using an absolute path.
Print the document in landscape format.
Turn manual feed on for the document.
Set physical dimension of output medium.
This overrides the
paperwidth commands in the
DESC file; it accepts the same arguments as the
groff_font (5) for details.
Use the file
prologue-file (in the font path) as the prologue instead of the default prologue file
This option overrides the environment variable
Lines should be drawn using a thickness of
n~ thousandths of an em.
If this option is not given, the line thickness defaults to 0.04~em.
Print the version number.
There are styles called
BI mounted at font positions 1 to~4.
The fonts are grouped into families
T having members in each of these styles:
There is also the following font which is not a member of a family:
There are also some special fonts called
S for the PS Symbol font, and
SS, containing slanted lowercase Greek letters taken from PS Symbol.
Zapf Dingbats is available as
ZD and a reversed version of ZapfDingbats (with symbols pointing in the opposite
direction) is available as
ZDR; most characters in these fonts are unnamed and must be accessed using
The default color for
[rs]M is black; for colors defined in the rgb color space,
setrgbcolor is used, for cmy and cmyk
setcmykcolor, and for gray
setgray. Note that
setcmykcolor is a PostScript LanguageLevel~2 command and thus not available on some
grops understands various X~commands produced using the
[rs]X escape sequence;
grops will only interpret commands that begin with a
In this case both Garamond and Garamond-Outline would need to be listed
A downloadable font should not include its own name in a
%%Document Supplied Resources comment.
[rs]Xps: exec code |
This executes the arbitrary PostScript commands in
The PostScript currentpoint will be set to the position of the
[rs]X command before executing
The origin will be at the top left corner of the page,
and y~coordinates will increase down the page.
u will be defined that converts groff units
to the coordinate system in effect.
.nr x 1i
[rs]Xps: exec [rs]nx u 0 rlineto stroke
will draw a horizontal line one inch long.
code may make changes to the graphics state,
but any changes will persist only to the
end of the page.
A dictionary containing the definitions specified by the
mdef will be on top of the dictionary stack.
If your code adds definitions to this dictionary,
you should allocate space for them using
[rs]Xps mdef n.
Any definitions will persist only until the end of the page.
If you use the
[rs]Y escape sequence with an argument that names a macro,
code can extend over multiple lines.
is another way to draw a horizontal line one inch long.
.nr x 1i
[rs]nx u 0 rlineto
[rs]Xps: file name |
This is the same as the
exec command except that the PostScript code is read from file
[rs]Xps: def code |
Place a PostScript definition contained in
code in the prologue.
There should be at most one definition per
Long definitions can be split over several
code arguments are simply joined together separated by newlines.
The definitions are placed in a dictionary which is automatically
pushed on the dictionary stack when an
exec command is executed.
If you use the
[rs]Y escape sequence with an argument that names a macro,
code can extend over multiple lines.
[rs]Xps: mdef n code |
def, except that
code may contain up to
grops needs to know how many definitions
so that it can create an appropriately sized PostScript dictionary
to contain them.
[rs]Xps: import file llx lly urx ury width [ height ] |
Import a PostScript graphic from
ury give the bounding box of the graphic in the default PostScript
coordinate system; they should all be integers;
lly are the x and y~coordinates of the lower left
corner of the graphic;
ury are the x and y~coordinates of the upper right corner of the graphic;
height are integers that give the desired width and height in groff
units of the graphic.
The graphic will be scaled so that it has this width and height
and translated so that the lower left corner of the graphic is
located at the position associated with
If the height argument is omitted it will be scaled uniformly in the
x and y~directions so that it has the specified width.
Note that the contents of the
[rs]X command are not interpreted by
troff; so vertical space for the graphic is not automatically added,
height arguments are not allowed to have attached scaling indicators.
If the PostScript file complies with the Adobe Document Structuring
Conventions and contains a
%%Bounding Box comment, then the bounding box can be automatically
extracted from within groff by using the
for a description of the
PSPIC macro which provides a convenient high-level interface for inclusion of
[rs]Xps: invis |
[rs]Xps: endinvis |
No output will be generated for text and drawing commands
that are bracketed with these
These commands are intended for use when output from
troff will be previewed before being processed with
grops; if the previewer is unable to display certain characters
or other constructs, then other substitute characters or constructs
can be used for previewing by bracketing them with these
gxditview is not able to display a proper
[rs](em character because the standard X11 fonts do not provide it;
this problem can be overcome by executing the following
In this case,
gxditview will be unable to display the
[rs](em character and will draw the line,
grops will print the
and ignore the line (this code is already in file
Xps.tmac which will be loaded if a document intended for
grops is previewed with
.char [rs](em [rs]Xps: invis[rs]
[rs]Z[rs]v-.25m[rs]h.05m[rs]Dl .9m 0[rs]h.05m[rs]
The input to
grops must be in the format output by
This is described in
In addition, the device and font description files for the device used
must meet certain requirements.
The device and font description files supplied for
ps device meet all these requirements.
can be used to create font files from AFM files.
The resolution must be an integer multiple of~72 times the
ps device uses a resolution of 72000 and a sizescale of 1000.
The device description file must contain a valid paper size; see
for more information.
Each font description file must contain a command
which says that the PostScript name of the font is
It may also contain a command
which says that
the PostScript font should be reencoded using the encoding described in
enc_file; this file should consist of a sequence of lines of the form:
pschar is the PostScript name of the character,
code is its position in the encoding expressed as a decimal integer; valid
values are in the range 0 to~255.
Lines starting with
# and blank lines are ignored.
The code for each character given in the font file must correspond
to the code for the character in encoding file, or to the code in the default
encoding for the font if the PostScript font is not to be reencoded.
This code can be used with the
[rs]N escape sequence in
troff to select the character,
even if the character does not have a groff name.
Every character in the font file must exist in the PostScript font, and
the widths given in the font file must match the widths used
in the PostScript font.
grops will assume that a character with a groff name of
space is blank (makes no marks on the page);
it can make use of such a character to generate more efficient and
compact PostScript output.
grops is able to display all glyphs in a PostScript font, not only 256.
enc_file (or the default encoding if no encoding file specified) just defines the
order of glyphs for the first 256 characters; all other glyphs are
accessed with additional encoding vectors which
grops produces on the fly.
grops can automatically include the downloadable fonts necessary
to print the document.
Such fonts must be in PFA format.
to convert a Type~1 font in PFB format.
Any downloadable fonts which should, when required, be included by
grops must be listed in the file
/usr/share/groff_font/devps/download; this should consist of lines of the form
font is the PostScript name of the font,
filename is the name of the file containing the font;
lines beginning with
# and blank lines are ignored;
fields may be separated by tabs or spaces;
filename will be searched for using the same mechanism that is used
for groff font metric files.
download file itself will also be searched for using this mechanism;
currently, only the first found file in the font path is used.
If the file containing a downloadable font or imported document
conforms to the Adobe Document Structuring Conventions,
grops will interpret any comments in the files sufficiently to ensure that its
own output is conforming.
It will also supply any needed font resources that are listed in the
as well as any needed file resources.
It is also able to handle inter-resource dependencies.
For example, suppose that you have a downloadable font called Garamond,
and also a downloadable font called Garamond-Outline
which depends on Garamond
(typically it would be defined to copy Garamonds font dictionary,
and change the PaintType),
then it is necessary for Garamond to appear before Garamond-Outline
in the PostScript document.
grops will handle this automatically
provided that the downloadable font file for Garamond-Outline
indicates its dependence on Garamond by means of
the Document Structuring Conventions,
for example by beginning with the following lines
%%DocumentNeededResources: font Garamond
%%IncludeResource: font Garamond
grops will not interpret
%%Document Fonts comments.
%%Document Needed Resources,
%%Document Supplied Resources,
%%Begin Resource, and
%%End Resource comments
(or possibly the old
%%Document Needed Fonts,
%%Document Supplied Fonts,
%%Begin Font, and
%%End Font comments)
should be used.
grops itself doesnt emit bounding box information.
With the help of GhostScript the following commands will produce an
encapsulated PS file
foo.eps from input file
groff -P-b16 foo > foo.ps
gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=bbox -- foo.ps 2> foo.bbox
cat foo.ps | sed -e /%%Orientation/rfoo.bbx > foo.eps
TrueType fonts can be used with
grops if converted first to
Type 42 format, an especial PostScript wrapper equivalent to the
PFA format mentioned in
There are several different methods to generate a type42
wrapper and most of them involve the use of a PostScript
interpreter such as Ghostscript see
Yet, the easiest method involves the use of the application
ttftot42. This program uses
(version 1.3.1) to generate type42
font wrappers and well-formed AFM files that can be fed to
script to create appropriate metric files.
The resulting font wrappers should be added to the
ttftot42 source code can be downloaded from
If this is set to
grops will use the file
foo (in the font path) instead of the default prologue file
-P overrides this environment variable.
Device description file.
Font description file for font
List of downloadable fonts.
Encoding used for text fonts.
Macros for use with
grops; automatically loaded by
automatically loaded by
Macros to disable use of characters not present in older
PostScript printers (e.g. eth or thorn).
"PostScript Language Document Structuring Conventions Specification"
|Groff Version 1.19.2 ||GROPS (1) ||24 March 2016 |
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